When we first started homeschooling, we only had one child. At that time, we had no idea if we’d ever have more children, so my biggest concern was that my “only” have friends. Since we didn’t know anyone else that homeschooled, I specifically wanted to make sure he had other homeschool friends.
It didn’t help that THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION most of us receive about homeschooling is, “What about socialization?” And because he was an only child, it was a genuine concern for us.
Whether socialization is a concern for you or not, friends are good to have. Proverbs 17:17a (NIV) says, “A friend loves at all times,” And we have definitely found this to be true. The biggest blessing in helping my children find friends is that their moms have become my friends too.
Here are 5 ways that we have personally used to make homeschool friends.
This is probably the most natural place to make friends for Christian homeschoolers. For us, it was a place we visited every week. My son easily made friends with lots of kids his age. We were involved in all the church’s activities, so there was plenty of socialization.
Even though none of the kids at church were homeschooled, they were still great friends. And even though we’ve moved several times, we still keep in touch with many of them.
We currently attend a church where almost all the kids are homeschooled. It’s interesting to see how that’s changed over the years. It’s also interesting to me to see how my children befriend kids without regard to their age, gender, or school affiliation.
2. Library Story Time
This idea works best for younger kids, since this is the age group targeted at most library story times. We started attending pretty regularly when my oldest was only about 3 years old.
I remember a young mom about my age started attending with her two boys. They were a little younger than my boy. One day, our boys were playing together, so we struck up a conversation. We became fast friends as did our boys.
Turns out, they homeschooled too. About 15 years and several out of state moves by them and one out of country move by us, and we’re all still very good friends today.
3. Local Park
Want your kid to make friends? Go where the kids are. It’s as simple as letting them play and interact with the other kids on the playground.
4. Clubs or sports teams
No matter what age or stage your children are, there’s likely a club or sports team nearby that would interest them. We live in a small town, and we still have many options available to us including: MOPS, 4-H, Scouts, Karate, Gymnastics, Cheer, T-ball and baseball, soccer, flag football, and Upwards basketball.
I’m also blessed to be a part of a local Bible study group that offers childcare. My younger girl plays with the toddlers while my big girls are in a small group with other homeschooled teens.
5. Local homeschool groups or co-ops
Even though we live in a small town, there is what I consider a large homeschool group (50 or so families). We joined when our oldest was only four, and we’re still members. JC20 was able to graduate with eight of his best friends.
Through this group, we’ve experienced field trips and co-op classes that we wouldn’t have otherwise participated in. My kids have made life-long friendships, and so have I.
Socialization is no longer an issue in our homeschool. If anything, I need ways for us to be less social. (I’m an introvert.) But if you’re new to homeschooling or maybe new to the area you live in or maybe you or your children are extroverts and want more friends, these five places are a great place to make homeschool friendships that just might last a lifetime.
If you need help finding a homeschool group in your area, check out the listings at hslda.org.
Has your family made homeschool friends in any of these places? Do you have other ideas that have helped you find friends? Leave me a comment, and tell me what’s worked for you.